Crackdown on Crime - Grocery Bag Robber

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's not uncommon in Southwest Louisiana to see a friendly face at the grocery story. "When someone offers to help we kind of think maybe that's the normal thing," said Lake Charles Police Sgt. Mark Kraus.  

Kraus says police within the last two weeks a kind black woman has made the rounds at a couple of area grocery stores offering to help elderly residents with their grocery bags, but in turn is helping herself.

"In doing what seems like a good deed, this woman is inside the victim's vehicle and taking their wallet from their purse," said Kraus.

According to police reports it's happened at least three times - two of the incidents at Kroger locations: One at the 12th Street store and the other on McNeese Street.

All three victims say the suspect is a black female. One of the victims reports she may have left in a van or SUV. Meanwhile police say there are ways to avoid becoming a victim.

"If there is someone that is out there that feels as though they are out there and they need help transporting their groceries to another location - we are certain that the store management would provide that service at no cost. So we would ask if that is the case if you find yourself in that position contact somebody from the store you are shopping at and tell them you may have some limited issues," explained Kraus.

Police say situational awareness is also key and not accepting help from a stranger - no matter how harmless they may seem - is better safe than sorry.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest. The number to call is 439-2222 or Lake Charles Police at 491-1311.

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